Why can’t we be logical and reasonable and get along?

I probably should be more active in the political process than I am…I try not to throw gasoline on the virtual fires with hyperbole and vitriol. I was catching up on reading the online version of the NYTimes (gee, too bad I couldn’t get my Sunday Times delivered to me on vacation) and two articles in particular struck me…one on the health care debate, and one on the Twitter DDoS attack. Both seem to be variations on a theme. If you are loud and noxious in your verbiage (voice or virtual), then you keep civil and rational political discourse from helping to achieve real, viable solutions to our problems.

The health care system in this country isn’t perfect. It does cost too much. I’m fortunate in that I have good health care coverage, and will have it in retirement, but we need to think beyond our own wallets. Lots of things need to change…and yes, I agree that tort reform is one of those things, along with universal coverage. Is a government-run system the right answer? I don’t know. Maybe we should try it and see. Medicare seems to have very satisfied customers, even those who don’t know it’s a government program 🙂 However, because the actions of a minority of folks with more volume than thoughtfulness drown out discussion, we can’t have the conversation we need to have. The Twitter DDoS is the same sort of thing. The Russians and Georgians have substantive differences that need to be talked out; engaging in polemics and doing things to shut down a rational speaker (from what little I know of the debate) while ignoring the collateral damage is irresponsible. Is it reasonable to just yell louder than the other guy? No. Do we have to tolerate those with different opinions than our own? Yes. The Norman Rockwell ideal of civil respect for the opinions of all is not the world of today, I fear. Does it really bother you to let others talk?

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